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PM Hasina's Saudi-Gambia trip cancelled on security concerns


At the last minute, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina's planned travel to Saudi Arabia and Gambia has been postponed due to security concerns in the Middle East caused by the conflict between Israel and Iran.

On Tuesday, a high-ranking official from the foreign ministry confirmed the cancellation, stating that the decision was made after considering security concerns.

In her commitment to strengthening diplomatic relations, the prime minister planned to travel to Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Gambia from April 24 to May 5 to participate in several international conferences and engage in bilateral discussions.

The inter-ministerial meeting in the prime minister's office (PMO) on Monday, led by her principal secretary, resolved several matters related to the trip.

A high-ranking official from the ministry said that the decision to cancel the prime minister's visit to Saudi Arabia and Gambia was made on Tuesday morning due to security concerns in the Middle East.

According to the updated schedule, the prime minister will travel to Bangkok, Thailand, on April 24 to participate in the 80th summit of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), a crucial regional cooperation and development platform.

Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to deliver a speech at the last session of the conference and will also engage in a one-on-one discussion with her Thai counterpart, Srettha Thavisin.

According to statements from foreign ministry officials, the prime minister had planned to go to Saudi Arabia on April 27 to attend a specialised session of the World Economic Forum in Riyadh. After the two-day session, she was scheduled to meet Crown Prince Mohammed Ibn Salman and proceed with a planned trip to Mecca for Umrah.

Subsequently, she planned to go to Gambia on May 3 to participate in the summit organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on May 4 and 5.

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